Nissan Motor Company announced that it has been planning to test self-driving cars near its headquarters at Yokohama in March 2018 on December 5. The car manufacturing company would use its Leaf electric vehicles for testing purpose.
Nissan has collaborated with DeNA to realize its plan to deploy self-driving taxis. The test will be the first of its kind performed by a Japanese manufacturer in the country. Autonomous vehicles will be equipped with cameras, sensors, and software to allow them to explore pre-set routes.
A backup driver will be deployed in the passenger seat to keep close eye on various things during the tests. The test will be conducted as a part of Nissan’s new platform known as “Easy Ride”. This technology is designed to let customers book a taxi and pay for the ride through an app.
Japan has been a pioneer in electronics and electronics industry once. However, Japanese companies have been lagging as compared to the U.S. companies in development of self-driving technology.
Nissan’s Chairman Carlos Ghosn expressed company’s ambitions earlier this year. The company has plans to deploy robo-taxi services up-and-running by 2022. Moreover, the company wants to increase the production of electric vehicles.
Many U.S. automakers have been conducting tests and experimenting with robo-taxis. General Motors expressed its intentions to run commercial self-driving taxis by early 2019. Google highlighted it began testing autonomous taxis without backup drivers in Phoenix and Arizona. Moreover, ride-hailing companies including Uber and Didi Chuxing are also aiming to introduce self-driving cab services.
The entry of Japanese manufacturer in the self-driving industry would intensify competition.